Edited and Published by Hale Sweeny
Web Site:
Associate Editors: Geo. Butts, JR Shroeder, Steve Henegar
and Margaret Malm

This list digest contains the following message subjects:

1. LapDigest News for Issue No. 222 - Wed 7/21/99
2. REVIEW: Rock & Gem Magazine for August 1999
3. NEW: Parts for 6" Sears and Roebuck Gem Maker
4. NEW: Polishing Iron Pyrite Druzy
5. NEW: Polishing Peridot
6. NEW: Tumbling Prepolish with Liquid Soap
7. RE: Need Information on Sunbeam Equipment
8. RE: Improving the Color of Blue Chalcedony
9. RE: Buehler Grit Equivalents


Subject: LapDigest News for Issue No. 222 - Wed 7/21/99

I am off to Franklin, NC to the Gem and Mineral Show and
to see and visit with old friends. Will probably return on
next Sunday or Monday. So the next Digest will probably
appear next Tuesday or Wednesday.

1999 South Carolina Rock Swap will be held at Aiken State
Park on the weekend of October 16th and 17th. Aiken State
Park is about 30 miles east of Augusta, GA. No selling,
only swapping. Contact Andy Glenn, Ph. (843)559-3459 or
at <> for more information.

Take care - drive carefuly -- and HAVE FUN!!


Subject: REVIEW: Rock & Gem Magazine for August 1999

Most of the August issue concerns gold. There are a couple
of items of interest to the lapidary.

Colleen Butler in "Craftsman of the Month" explains clock
making using slabs and sandblasting a design into the slab.

In "Slabs & Cabs", Lee Martin gives a compact explanation
of equipment, selection of cabbing materials and their
makeup, and briefly how to form a cabochon.

Steve Henegar

Subject: NEW: Parts for 6" Sears and Roebuck Gem Maker

I have a 6" gem Maker made by Sears and Roebuck. It has a
double arbor 1725 RPM 110V motor, with a saw on one end and
a carborundum wheel and convex polishing pad on the other
end. The polishing pad has a 1/4" groove in the wheel which
I imagine is to attach a leather disk for polishing with
something like cerium oxide.

Does anybody know where I can get a coil spring or whatever
Sears sold to attach the leather pad? I have accessed the
Sears page on the Internet and there was no number equal to
the model number on the body of the machine.

Subject: NEW: Polishing Iron Pyrite Druzy


I recently purchased some Iron Pyrite druzy on fluorite.
It makes great cabs, but the crystal faces on the pyrite
aren't as shiny as the polished part. Does anyone know
how to polish these crystals?

Randy Aue
Estes Park, CO

Subject: NEW: Polishing Peridot

I've had some luck polishing just about everything I've
tried so far. I had a little trouble with tourmaline, but
finally worked it out with the help of everyone here.

I have come upon some more trouble, however, and have
managed to brutalize several big pieces of peridot whilst
trying to get them shiny. I've tried cerium and tin. I
don't feel them getting hot, and yet little bits ping out
of them and they look fractured internally where there
weren't fractures at the start. It's terribly frustrating.

I hesitate to experiment further, as I only have 3 more
nice chunks of the stuff. Could someone give me an
authoritative, "do this," please?

I would be SO appreciative.

Thanks all,
Dana Carlson

Subject: NEW: Tumbling Prepolish with Liquid Soap

I find that the best prepolish for tumbling is the soap
liquid that goes into the automatic clothes washing machine.

I used to use soap powder, and got a great prepolish. One
day I could not find any in the laundry, but there was some
liquid. After a week, a dazzling polish was produced. A
real surprise.

I prepolish like this for a week. But half way during the
week, I rinse out, and put more soap liquid in. You will
be surprised at how dirty the liquid in the barrel becomes.
The advantage is that when you polish with tin oxide, there
is virtually no contamination of the tin oxide, so it lasts
a lot longer. You must use automatic washing machine powder
or liquid, as these have anti-foaming agents in them.

Craig McGregor

Canterbury Mineral and Lapidary Club

Subject: RE: Need Information on Sunbeam Equipment

<<We purchased a Sunbeam grinder, polisher, honer and have
no information or instructions. ...(snip)... we're hoping
that someone might have one of these old machines and can
send me a copy of the instructions. This machine has a tiny
(3") wheel on top that looks like a very small faceting lap
and a grinder on one side and polisher on the other. There
are letters on the front of the unit which say: SUNBEAM
Grinder, Sander, Honer.>>

Hi Lenny,

The unit you got is a little light weight grinder for home
owners & apartment dwellers. It may be good for sharpening
knives & scissors if you know how. Unless you're
experienced, you'll probably ruin more stuff than you

It's more than likely not useable for lapidary work,
especially if you've got to run water on the wheels. The
electric portion isn't waterproof. The wheels on it aren't
designed to do lapidary work.

Sorry I can't be more positive, but as a lapidary grinder
it'll make a good door stop.

Lenny: I have sent a query to Sunbeam about this unit, and
will send you a copy of their answer when (and if) I get it.
I'll also publish their answer in a future issue. hale

Subject: RE: Improving the Color of Blue Chalcedony

<<Some varieties of Blue Chalcedony, but not all, will
darken when exposed to the rays of the sun. Simply leave
in direct sunlight for a few months and see if any change

Have you experimented with direct UV radiation from lamps?
UV lamps can be used to treat a variety of different gem
materials, but are often overlooked.

Paul Ahlstedt

Subject: RE: Buehler Grit Equivalents

I found the website for Beuhler; it is located at:

I am sure that if you look at their catalog of consumable
products, you can identify your cloths. I wrote them a
letter asking what the units for "383", "435" or "494"were,
but I have not yet received an answer. When and if I get
an answer, I will publish it here.

I suggest that you also follow up from here.

Hope this helps.

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